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dajwxp - Quick-Learns! ^^ (SSBB Fire Emblem Theme! [Latios212])

Started by daj, June 12, 2016, 07:47:54 PM

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Draft Record: "Sympathy and Sincerity" from PMD: GtI

You may stop watching after the first repeat, ahaha. Second round was a mess :p

Not a proper recording because I couldn't make the recording by the end of the weekend. Audio equipment was ready and the technical bits were more or less settled, buuuut I played too much Overwatch and I wanted to do a really good job on this one.

I'll say it again - frikkin amazing sheet from Bespinben here. Skip to around 1:40 (wherever the climax is) and you'll see the equivalent of a pianist's trigger-happy mode. I'll do a full write-up + analysis once this comes out, but yeah. Loved learning this, looking forward to the execution ^^

Proper recording + cheating shenanigans coming out next weekend! :)


"Sympathy and Sincerity" from PMD: GtI

- around 5 hours went into the project in total, including recording and production time.
- learning + refining took 2 hours-ish
- this is a legit single-take recording ;)


Along with the release of this video, I'd just like to say a bunch of things about how awesome working with this piece of music has been. It's a long one, so I've hidden it in a spoiler - but the idea is that Bespinben's pulled off a beautiful one, the PMD plot links in a subtle and wonderful way, and I cried a bit (cuz PMD) many times.

Enjoy! :)

Release Notes:
This was the first Bespinben arrangement I've done, and I'm quite sure it'll be the first of many more. It's amazing, and that's not enough to full express myself. So I wrote some notes. Yeah. Pretty much.

I found this arrangement immediately when Bespinben released it, and it was a beautiful presentation...but it was only after a PMD2 run that re-visiting it truly captivated me.

We'll talk about the arrangement itself first:

Scale-wise, it was perfect for a commonly accessible work, being structurally similar to the original but fresh in every other aspect. The opening two sections took the original sounds and re-interpreted them in a fashion that was perfect for a piano song to be played ("sung") to yourself in a small room. The middle section, with its wavering dynamics and sensitive writing, scrapped the all-encompassing string textures in the original entirely for a vulnerable stage-whisper. The climax was passionate and powerful, yet in an almost Chopin-esque style, small. The whole piece came together as a vulnerable lament in a microcosmic world, which was a brilliant re-interpretation of the expressive cry-out-to-the-world PMD style.

But aside of its musical dimension, Bespinben tied his release to a significant (PMD-moral) plot point. It was a simple in-game quote accompanied with a simple message as a tribute to a certain Virizion's character. At first it was deep and cool, but when I revisited it, I realised how awesome that quote was and I dived head-first into the plot. And that became a core part of my release, while also supplementing my performance delivery and hitting me with a good ol' dose of PMD feels.

(spoilers here)
So based on the way Bespinben presented it, I thought Virizion was the moral heroine of the PMD3 plot, bashful yet firm with her values. I searched up "virizion gates to infinity", spoilt the only good part of the game (i.e. the plot) for myself in Marriland's fantastic voice acting, and it turned out that she was a diva who didn't believe in friends and protected herself from the world by icing out everyone. Including poor Dunsparce. :(

Oh, and the quote he quoted was from the protagonist's partner, who, based on the PMD formula, is always the moral hero/heroine of the world. Welp.

The funny thing was that I didn't hear the soundtrack being played. And if Bespinben tied the release to Virizion's character and "thanked her for the life lessons", I was pretty sure he wasn't making a joke out of it. So, being the perfect PMD fan, I spoilt the whole plot for myself on the wiki to find Virizion's nice-guy appearance.

Something directed me to the final episode when Keldeo makes his appearance (and Virizion expresses her feelings for Emolga, come on Chunsoft seriously?? twas cute though). The secret is revealed, Virizion breaks down and weeps like a baby after a whole game of being cool, and I don't cry. At all. I'm a grown-ass man and cartoons don't make me cry.

(haha who am i kidding every pokemon fan cries at some point when playing pmd. i was dying everywhere.)

Everything came full-circle as a beautiful plot arc. In the world of moral nihilism, Virizion lost her best friend to a really cheesy misunderstanding ("that horrible letter", oh!), and grew to distrust everyone. When she finally broke down, the human-protagonist and moral-hero partner were on the way to crush the essence of negativity from the world, and the effect was just bone-chilling. I cried a lot. ;(

And so Bespinben's Sympathy and Sincerity delivered itself as Virizion's vulnerable plot arc. From insecure distrust to the extreme of nihilism, a painful loneliness in moments of silence, and finally, the heroic dissolution of all negativity, tailing off with Virizion's broken weeping in the sight of her best friend. That's the way I read it, and needless to say, it was a beautifully fulfilling experience that only the PMD series, along with Bespinben's thoughtful writing, could deliver.

I think this is the way VGM arrangements can truly find beauty. The PMD games happen to be plot-heavy and sensitive, so a good arrangement that finds itself tied in with the plot can really hit home. On a vulnerable piece like this, emphasizing small-ness and emptiness can crystallise the classic PMD feels, rewarding performers for studying their context (bwahahahaha) and doing their fair share of musical reflection.

Now, it's not that this piece would be boring as a standalone work - on the contrary, this is brilliant writing: technically sound, well-balanced, and complete with pianistic flourishes that, when performed, are tantamount to giving pianists happy-drugs. But take a well-written piece, weave it in to a plot that needs no exposition on the composer's part, deliver a message that no one expects, and you've got something beautiful.

Thanks for the journey, man. Really enjoyed it, and more than that I hope I'll get many more of such experiences as I delve into your collection ;)


"Lonely Lillie" from Pokemon Sun and Moon

Whoop! Didn't want this to be done, but welp.
- 3 hours or so of ultra-space-zoned-in focus time
- 2 hours of prod
- me actually staying on schedule for a project like this for once <3


Well, we all love this track. :p Would love to write more but it's late here so yeah ^^;

Also there's a part where I talk to a camera and ask the youtube people if they want an easy version/guided version ^^

Enjoy guys! :)


Excellent job! Now you are the type of performer that I strive hard to be like haha.
You've got so much skill. Jelly. : )


What a beautiful performance! It's nice of you to offer to simplify the arrangement for less confident pianists.
I'll have a go at playing this piece as Zeila wrote it, but I'll definitely need more than 3 hours to bring it up to a decent level!  :o


Quote from: Sebastian on January 07, 2017, 09:19:55 AMExcellent job! Now you are the type of performer that I strive hard to be like haha.
You've got so much skill. Jelly. : )

Thank you, first and foremost, for using the term "skill" over "talent". <3 I'll never discount the value of hard work and the luck which gave me opportunities to put in said hard work, and it's always nice to hear people who believe in that value system :)

And thank you for the kind comments as always man, much love~

Quote from: Onionleaf on January 07, 2017, 05:12:39 PMWhat a beautiful performance! It's nice of you to offer to simplify the arrangement for less confident pianists.
I'll have a go at playing this piece as Zeila wrote it, but I'll definitely need more than 3 hours to bring it up to a decent level!  :o

Hehe, people shouldn't be sad because of hard arrangements. Finding a little calling in the whole easy arrangement thing I'm doing honestly, haha ^^

And yeah, go for it! :) Feel free to skype me if you want some fingerings and tips, or if you ever get stuck! It's not that straightforward, and the technical challengge is fun until you get stuck, so yeah' ^^

(and if you ever record this and would like some audio cheating my skype is open huehue)


"Fire Emblem Theme", the Brawl Version! :D

Fresh out of the updater's oven! ^^

 ...jk haha i'm not that good :p

- about three hours of practice, one hour of which was on the single note tremolo in the middle section :p
- did a quick production, a bunch of edits. took about an hour plus.


I'd recommend this sheet for anyone who wants a not-so-challenging, yet beautiful piece that lets them slam their piano without guilt. It was such a blast to learn and so fun to perform. ^^

Lat sent me this sheet even before it was completed, and he told me he was really proud of what he had made - and indeed, it looked amazing even when it wasn't complete. In fact, it was only written up to the soprano solo part, and from that point I knew I wanted to play this.

So do give this a try! ^^ You probably won't regret it :)

This is extraordinary, daj! Remarkable that you learned that entire sheet in a measly 3 hours! I'm impressed. :)
Check out my Youtube channel for remixes and original music!'s Remixes

Also check out my piano arrangements here on my PA thread!'s Arrangements